At least that's what you'd think from the emails I have been getting lately.
Now don't get me wrong. I love it when people send me an email asking for information about the island. I'm always glad to answer their questions as best I can. I wish I had had somebody to quiz before I visited Huatulco recently. So I can appreciate people's desire to get further information about someplace they are about to visit....or want to visit. But there is one question I have been getting a lot lately. It is this:
Am I going to be safe on Isla Mujeres?
There seems to be a big push going on right now in the USA to scare people away from Mexico. I have read online the stories of the State Dept warning Spring Breakers to stay away. I have seen the shows of the drug business related violence. The scenes of shoot outs, decapitated bodies and kidnappings out of control. If I didn't live here, I might be scared too.
People, let's get a little real. Yes, there has been an alarming increase in violent crimes and murders in Mexico. But where and why? These drug wars are taking place amongst rival drug gangs. Not against the populace as a whole. And most of it is contained to border states to the USA. Funny, isn't it, that the greatest crime is so close to the USA. Makes one wonder if we aren't inadvertently playing a role in causing some of this violence. That's another subject though.
Let me say this as loudly as I can
Tourists are not being targeted and are not in danger in Mexico.
Unless they are part of the drug trafficking. And I doubt that very much.
IMHO, it is perfectly safe for tourists to come to little Isla Mujeres without fear. Or even Cancun for that matter. Like any big city, Cancun has areas I would not go to and I doubt that tourists would even know these areas exist. But the island is still safe, sane and secure. You can still walk safely anywhere you want on this island, any time night or day. Even a single woman is safe wondering the streets here. Unless you call getting whistled at by horny workmen life threatening.
That said, crime does happen. Just recently there was a rash of hotel room break-ins on the island. Let me clarify that. Not break-ins, burglaries of opportunity. The accused culprit, an Italian living here, has been apprehended and hopefully that will be the end of it. The island is not what it was in the 80's or 90's. There are just too many people living here. And, evidently, with an increase of people comes an increase in crime.
If you live here or if you are a tourist, use common sense. Lock your doors when you leave your room. Close and lock your windows, if locks are provided. Put your valuables in the safe or leave them at the front desk. They usually have a safe for you to use. Don't leave your stuff unattended at the beach. The days where you could leave your camera or other valuables on your blanket while you take a swim are long gone. Don't buy drugs from shop keepers. Don't let yourself get so drunk that you don't know what you are doing or with whom. Never tell strangers where you are staying. Just take some precautions that make sense and your vacation will be all you wanted it to be.
So if you have a ticket to fly down here, or are thinking of getting a ticket, get on that plane! There are many people here just waiting to make your vacation as much fun as you had hoped it would be!